17 July, 2007

Leibowitz Reich Litvinenko

Report: Libby a long-time Israeli intelligence agent

by Wayne Madsen -- Global Research, July 7, 2007

Irving Lewis "Scooter" Libby (Leibowitz) has been a long-serving
intelligence agent for Israel's Mossad, according to a veteran CIA
"official cover" officer who spoke to the Wayne Madsen Report on deep
background. The CIA's Clandestine Service has, over the years, gathered a
tremendous amount of intelligence on Libby's activities on behalf of
Mossad.

Libby served as the lawyer for Switzerland- based American fugitive
financier Marc Rich, aka Mark David Reich, who is also known to be an
Israeli intelligence asset and someone Israel relies upon for missions
that demand "plausible deniability" on the part of the Mossad. Rich heads
up a worldwide empire of dummy corporations, foundations, and numbered
bank accounts that have been involved in sanctions busting and weapons
smuggling. The nations involved include Israel, United States, United
Kingdom, Iran, Panama, Colombia, Russia, Iraq (under Saddam Hussein),
Cuba, Spain, Nigeria, Singapore, Bolivia, Jamaica, Bermuda, France, Italy,
East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Australia,
Argentina, Peru, Ireland, Zambia ...

In 1983, the then-U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York
urged jail time for Rich and his partner Pincus Green for racketeering.
The name of that U.S. Attorney is Rudolph Giuliani. Giuliani, who is now
running for president, praised Bush's decision to commute Libby's jail
sentence. After Clinton 's pardon of Rich, Giuliani said he was "shocked."
Paul Klebnikov, the Moscow editor for Forbes' Russian edition, wrote about
the connections of Rich to Russian gangsters like Boris Berezovsky, a
business partner of Neil Bush, in his book "Godfather of the Kremlin."
Klebnikov was shot to death gangland-style on a Moscow street on July 9,
2004.

Libby not only provided the Mossad with a top agent inside the White House
but also an important conduit for the Russian-Israeli Mafia.

Libby arranged for Rich's eleventh hour pardon by outgoing President Bill
Clinton in January 2001. The pardon of Rich was urged in a phone call to
Clinton by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, as well as Shimon Peres
and Ehud Olmert.

Libby received a commutation of his 30-month prison sentence from
President George W. Bush. Libby was convicted on four counts of perjury,
lying to a federal law enforcement officer, and obstruction of justice in
the investigation by U.S. Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald of the White
House's leak to the media of the identity CIA non-official cover officer
Valerie Plame Wilson.

Libby was denied bail by U.S. Judge Reggie Walton and was ordered to
prison while appealing his sentence. Libby was assigned Bureau of Prisons
inmate number 28301-016.

Libby worked for Paul Wolfowitz in the State Department's Bureau of East
Asian and Pacific Affairs from 1982 to 1985. Libby again worked for
Wolfowitz in the Pentagon as the Principal Undersecretary for Strategy and
Resources. Libby later became the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for
Policy and served as a chief aide to Defense Secretary Dick Cheney.

It was while Libby was working for Wolfowitz at State, the FBI arrested
Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who had delivered enough highly-classified
U.S. documents they could have entirely filled a garage. It was well known
that Pollard had a "control officer" within the Reagan administration. The
control officer was code-named "Mega."

Current British Lord Chancellor and former British Foreign Secretary Jack
Straw said that during Middle East peace talks between Israel and the
Palestinians, "It's a toss-up whether [Libby] is working for the Israelis
or the Americans on any given day." Clinton 's Deputy Attorney General
Eric Holder told the House Government Affairs Committee in 2001 that he
discovered much more about Rich after Clinton 's pardon and said, "Knowing
everything that I know now, I would not have recommended to the president
that he grant the pardon."

It has also been reported that, in addition to pressure from leading
neocons in the United States to keep Libby out of jail, Bush was urged by
leading Israeli government officials to prevent Libby from going to prison.

Fitzgerald issued the following statement regarding Bush's commutation of
Libby's prison sentence:

"We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation
decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment
on the exercise of that prerogative.

We comment only on the statement in which the President termed the
sentence imposed by the judge as 'excessive.' The sentence in this case
was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencing which occurs every
day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge
considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence
consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law
that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That
principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Although the President's decision eliminates Mr. Libby's sentence of
imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies,
and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the
appeals process.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6236

==========================

Who was behind the polonium poisoning of former KGB agent Alexander
Litvinenko?

by Wayne Madsen -- Global Research, December 17, 2006

Editorial Note
This detailed article by Wayne Madsen casts serious doubt on mainstream
media reports which suggest that former KGB agent Alexander
Litivinenko was assassinated on the orders of President Vladimir Putin.
According to Independent:
"The Russian president was accused by Mr Litvinenko of sanctioning his
murder. The Kremlin has rejected the claims, but the death of the former
agent will add to the perception that the FSB security service is running
an assassination policy.... It emerges that radioactive material is found
at hotel and restaurant which Litvinenko visited. His family release
statement from former spy in which he tells Vladimir Putin "may god
forgive you for what you have done".
These insinuations have the appearances of a political smear campaign
directed against the Russian president.
Global Research, 17 December 2006

December 15-17, 2006 -- Mario Scaramella, the Italian liaison for
polonium-210 poisoned ex-Russian KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko, is
connected to an array of companies, smuggling operations, and right-wing
politicians, according to press reports in Italy. Scaramella ran an
organization called the Environmental Crime Prevention Program (ECCP) from
his base in Naples in the Campania Region. He is politically-connected to
Campania officials, his uncle having once served as the President of
Campania. He has also been linked to activities of the powerful Camorra
criminal syndicate in Naples.

In 2004, Scaramella's ECCP established a presence in the tiny Republic of
San Marino, known for its tight banking secrecy laws. The ECCP proclaims
itself as "permanent intergovernmental conference" with rotating
presidencies by such countries as Samoa and Angola. Scaramella concocted a
story that "KGB agents" were active in San Marino, but it now appears that
he sabotaged an international law enforcement investigation of
Russian-Israeli weapons nuclear smugglers that were using San Marino as a
base. That weapons smuggling operation involved other Russian-Israeli
Mafia agents and operatives in Zurich. Fugitive American-Russian-Israeli
Mafia capo Marc Rich (former major client of Vice President Dick Cheney's
indicted former Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby) maintains his
headquarters near Zurich. In May 2002, he attended a top secret conclave
of Italian intelligence officials in the town of Priverno, south of Rome.
Scaramella attended under the affiliation of "Secretary General of the
Intergovernmental Program for Environmental Security." Also in attendance
was Franco Frattini, Security and Intelligence Minister in the Silvio
Berlusconi government; Mario Mori, chief of SISDE (the civilian
intelligence service), Niccolo Pollari, director of SISMI (military
intelligence), and Luigi Ramponi, the former chief of SISMI. Pollari was
recently fired and is under criminal investigation for his role in the
CIA's kidnapping and rendition of Abu Omar, an Egyptian imam, from a Milan
street in 2003. Pollari's deputy, Gen. Nicola Calipari, was assassinated
in March 2005 by U.S. military forces in Baghdad while on a rescue mission
for an Italian journalist taken hostage by insurgents. Calipari's widow,
Rosa Maria Calipari, is now a Senator in the governing left-center
coalition of Prime Minister Romano Prodi. Scaramella and Litvinenko were
involved in political dirty tricks operations against Prodi. Scaramella
also targeted Alfonso Pecararo Scanio, the leader of the Italian Green
Party and now Minister of the Environment) and Antonio Bassolini, the
current President of Campania. As with the law enforcement investigators
in San Marino, Scaramella accused Pecararo Scanio and Bassolini of being
involved with the "KGB" to cover his own illicit activities. The District
Attorney for Reggio Calabria, Alberto Cisterna, and a Parliamentary
Committee has a case file on the illegal dumping of toxic waste in which
Scaramella's name appears as a suspect in the sinking of the "Rigel,"
which was loaded with toxic waste, off the Calabrian coast. Mario
Scaramella: Links to various "usual suspects" indicate that Litwinenko
affair may be the tip of the iceberg that could lead to past and future
global false flag terrorism operation aimed at the United States and its
allies. If Vladimir Putin hit this criminal network, he deserves our
eternal thanks and not our condemnation. Scaramella's reported involvement
with the Imam kidnapping confirms earlier reports that the CIA (or more
likely, the parallel Pentagon operation established by Donald Rumsfeld,
Stephen Cambone, and Douglas Feith) was assisted in the operation by
private Italian intelligence agents linked to SISMI and SISDE. Scaramella
reportedly had a fleet of SUVs, Range Rovers, and well-armed private
security guards at his disposal. The Naples Camorra is also reportedly now
under the operational control of the Russian-Israeli Mafia. Scaramella has
also been linked to the operational chief for the kidnapping and rendition
of Abu Omar, Robert Seldon Lady, reputedly the CIA station chief in Milan.
His official cover was reportedly Political Military Officer at the U.S.
Consulate, a portfolio not usually assigned to a consulate but only to
embassies or special missions. Lady and his CIA associates are now wanted
by Italian authorities in the kidnapping. Lady has ties to CIA contra
activities in Central America in the 1980s. Lady has also been linked to
the Rocco Martino-Manucher Ghorbanifar bogus Niger "yellowcake" uranium
documents used to justify the U.S. attack on Iraq. Martino is an Italian
intelligence broker who tried to frame the French in the yellowcake affair
and Ghorbanifar, a native of Iran, is a longtime agent of influence and
back channel liaison to Iran for the Israeli Mossad. Lady retired from the
CIA in 2004 and departed Italy in 2005. If there are now links between the
CIA and organized crime, it marks a dramatic return to the past for the
agency. In the 1950s and 1960s, the CIS coordinated a number of its
activities with members of the Italian Mafia. Lady is reportedly spending
much of his time in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a place where he was active in
the Contra affair in the 1980s at the same time John Negroponte, now
Director of National Intelligence, served as ambassador to Honduras and
effectively ran the CIA's death squads in the country. Lady also
reportedly maintains a residence in Abita Springs, Louisiana, near New
Orleans. During the Iran-Contra affair, a scandal engineered partly by
Ghorbanifar, Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, current National Security
Council official Elliott Abrams, and Michael Ledeen, now of the American
Enterprise Institute, Lady ran Contra support operations from the Honduran
military base at Ojo de Agua, 30 miles northwest of Tegucigalpa.
Scaramella apparently used his environmental organization as a way to
establish close contact with various Green Party officials. He also has a
past connection with Michael Penders, a former U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) legal counsel for criminal enforcement and now
President of Environmental Security, Inc. (ESI), headquartered in the
Willard Office Building in downtown Washington, just one block from the
White House. The firm also maintains an office in Manassas, Virginia.
According to the Italian magazine, Panorama, Scaramella boasted of his
contacts with Penders. Penders' biography on the ESI web site states, "In
2004, Mr. Penders chaired a U.S.-Israel group of experts that developed
the draft international standard for Security Management Systems (SMS).
Last year, ESI led pilot studies testing the integrated SMS standard at
critical infrastructure facilities in the US, Israel, and Italy." ESI's
website has the conference agenda for a Nov. 15 and 16, 2000 conference in
New York City on "Combating International Eco-Crime in a Global Economy:
The Use of Technologies and Information Management to Monitor Compliance
with International Agreements, Prosecute Environmental Crime, and Reform
Environmental Law and Trade." Penders and Scaramella both spoke at the
conference. Their biographies are included: "Michael Penders is the
president of Environmental Security International (ESI), a new company
with offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Phoenix, and Rome. ESI
conducts investigations, implements environmental management and security
systems, and offers consulting services involving the application of new
technologies, policies, legislation, and training to improve environmental
performance. Previously, Mr. Penders was the Director of Legal Counsel
with EPA's Office of Criminal Enforcement." "Dr. Mario Scaramella, a
professor at the University of Naples in Italy and Secretary General of
the ECPP, described the mission of the ECPP as providing environmental
protection and security through technology on a global basis, particularly
for developing nations. ECPP has offices at the Fucino Space Center in
Italy, the largest civilian space center in the world. ECPP has used
aerial surveillance and the remote sensing capabilities of satellites to
detect environmental crimes in Eastern and Southern Europe and
eco-terrorism in Central Africa and South America." The UK's Daily Mail is
reporting that Scaramella has "deep knowledge" of nuclear materials and
where they are located. In addition, Scaramella claims a connection to
Colombia. He claims he was a professor of environmental law at Externado
University and the University of Nuestra Senora del Rosario in Bogota,
Colombia from 1996 to 2000. He also claims to have been a professor during
the same time at the University of Naples. The University of Naples says
it has no record of Scaramella being a professor at the institution. He
also claims to have been a visiting professor at Stanford and was the
director of a Stanford NATO program that visited Lithuania. (Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice is the former Provost of Stanford). In 2002,
Scaramella says he was in charge of a training program for the Colombian
police and was a visiting professor at Greenwich University in London. The
links between Litvinenko, Scaramella, Boris Berezovsky, and other elements
of the weapons smuggling Russian-Israeli Mafia and Litvinenko's poisoning
on Nov. 1 in London, just a week prior to the November 7 elections in the
United States, may indicate that a much larger plot was afoot than in just
the corporate media fantasy that Vladimir Putin silenced a political
opponent. If Litvinenko and Scaramella were involved in the smuggling of
dangerous radioactive material for an early November "surprise" designed
to influence the American election and an "accident" arranged by Russian
intelligence resulted in the plot's failure, President Putin, if he is
knowledgeable at all about the case, deserves the utmost thanks and
gratitude of the American people for helping to expose what may be a key
operational element of a failed attack on the U.S. or U.S. interests
abroad and other false flag operations directed against the United States,
including 9/11.

The reported links between Alexander Litvinenko's Italian interlocutor
Mario Scaramella and at least one former official of the Environmental
Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Criminal Enforcement's Center for
Strategic Environmental Enforcement raise some troubling issues, according
to an EPA insider.

A top EPA official attended, along with Scaramella and former EPA criminal
enforcement branch legal counsel Michael Penders, the Nov. 15 and 16, 2000
conference in New York City on "Combating International Eco-Crime in a
Global Economy. The official represented the EPA's Office of Criminal
Enforcement's Center for Strategic Environmental Enforcement. That office
has been described by an EPA insider as consisting of "cover up artists."
The insider further stated the EPA criminal investigative branch "has
access to NASA skyviewing . . . geographical information system (GIS),
they know where every little ounce of bad stuff is in the world and they
can get access to it." The insider said it would not surprise him in the
very least that "the [polonium] 210 came from people inside this group.
Their loyalty ties strongly to Bush and company" and that previous
external-to-EPA criminal investigations "thwarted some of their past
misdeeds." The EPA enforcement center's data import/export database system
has the capability to "identify suspect shipments," according to the EPA.
A number of other EPA officials, including those involved in international
issues, attended the New York conference. Scaramella's Environmental Crime
Prevention Program, falsely billed as a European counterpart to the EPA's
Center for Strategic Environmental Enforcement, also claims a similar
role: "aerial surveillance and the remote sensing capabilities of
satellites to detect environmental crimes in Eastern and Southern Europe
and eco-terrorism in Central Africa and South America." The compromise of
agencies in the United States and Europe that are responsible for
monitoring the location and transport of nuclear materials represents an
immense danger to public safety around the world. Equally interesting is
that Scaramella once offered FS (the Italian Railway) an estimated 17
million euro video surveillance system for free. The system would have
covered every train station and other railway facility in Italy.
Scaramella's deal was that he would provide the system for free in
exchange for the exclusive use of the video images captured by the system.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=4182

===========================================

Mario Scaramella -- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mario Scaramella (born April 23, 1970[1]) is an Italian lawyer and
self-styled security consultant who came to international prominence in
2006 in connection with the poisoning of the ex-FSB agent Alexander
Litvinenko. He served as an investigator and adviser to the controversial
Mitrokhin Commission set up by Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party in
order to investigate supposed links between Berlusconi's political rivals,
including his rival for the premiership (now Prime Minister) Romano Prodi
and the KGB. Scaramella is alleged to have collaborated with the president
of the commission Paolo Guzzanti in garnering false evidence to link Prodi
with the KGB.[2][3] Prodi has said he intends to sue over the
allegations.[4][5] Scaramella is currently under investigation by the
Italian justice department for calumny[6] and illegal weapons trade,[7]
accusations which Scaramella has replied to in an interview in
L'Espresso.[1]

While working for the Mitrokhin Commission, Scaramella claimed a Ukrainian
ex-KGB agent living in Naples, Alexander Talik, conspired with three other
Ukrainians to assassinate him and Senator Guzzanti. The Ukrainians were
arrested, but Talik claimed that Scaramella had invented the story of the
assassination attempt, which brought the calumny charge on him. Talik also
claimed that rocket propelled grenades sent to him in Italy had in fact
been sent by Scaramella himself.[6]

Scaramella was born in Naples and still lives in the city. In March 1989,
at the age of nineteen, he founded an "environmental police force" with
eight young associates.[8] He managed to obtain a gun license with a
written recommendation from a family friend who worked in the National
Antimafia Commission. Afterwards, with a fishing/hunting guard ID,
Scaramella introduced himself as an "inspector" to two assistant district
attorneys in a small municipality outside Naples, and asked their support
for his policing activities. Scaramella was assigned a police squad and
started seizing properties for a variety of environmental crimes, ranging
from sealing public bathrooms in Capri to seizing a clandestine horse
track controlled by a local Mafia boss. However, in June 1991, an official
grew suspicious after noticing that Scaramella never signed any paperwork,
and he was indicted and found guilty of impersonating a police officer. He
was ordered to pay a fine, but the verdict was reversed on appeal. The
appeals court found that the term he had used, "inspector", did not
necessarily indicate a police inspector.[8]

According to his own resume, between 1996 and 2000 he served as a
professor of environmental law at the Externado University and the
University of Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Bogotá, Colombia. He also
said to have held a post in environmental crime at the University of
Naples. The Evening Standard, who interviewed Scaramella,[9] however say
they have not been able to confirm any part of his academic career. The
University of Naples has claimed never to have heard of him.[10][11]
According to a former member of the controversial Mitrokhin Commission to
which Scaramella was a consultant (2002â€"2006), he provided different
university references when requested on different occasions.[3]

Until 2006, Scaramella was best known for a memo claiming that Soviet
submarine K-8 left 20 nuclear mines in the Bay of Naples in 1970. He
claimed that he had long been involved in investigating the smuggling of
radioactive material by the KGB and its successors.[12]
Environmental Crime Prevention Program

Between 2000 and 2002 he was secretary general of the Naples based
organization Environmental Crime Prevention Program (ECPP), another empty
shell which directly passed to have second plenary conference in 1997 in
order to better convince of its legitimacy as an intergovernmental
organization. He then managed to convince NATO to fund him, opening an
office in Vilnius, Lithuania, before managing to acquire a first
temporary, then permanent observatory status at the London Convention, an
international group linked to the International Maritime Organization.
According to the International Herald Tribune, this "phony organization"
then signed on October 12, 2000, a Memorandum of Understanding for
cooperation with the Secretariat of the Basel Convention on the
Environment, which is part of the United Nations Environment Programme.
One of his few public appearances was in 2002 at a security related
conference, giving a lecture on "space anti-terror technologies".[13]
Alexander Litvinenko poisoning

On November 1, 2006 Scaramella met with the ex-Russian FSB agent Alexander
Litvinenko for lunch at Itsu, a sushi restaurant in Piccadilly, London.
Scaramella has stated he ate nothing and drank only water at the
restaurant. On December 1, 2006 he was taken to University College
Hospital, and it was confirmed that he has been exposed to Polonium-210,
the substance which is thought to have been eaten by Alexander Litvinenko
at the aforementioned lunch, and which killed him.[14] Although Scaramella
initially denied having the substance in his body, his lawyer made a
statement on the same day saying that they would make no comment until the
results of the tests were finalised.[15] A room at Ashdown Park Hotel, in
Sussex, where Scaramella is thought to have stayed whilst in the U.K. has
been sealed off due to possible contamination.

Some news outlets have speculated that Scaramella may have been
Litvinenko's assassin.[16]

On December 3 Italian Senator Paolo Guzzanti was quoted after speaking
with Scaramella by phone, saying health officials had told Scaramella the
dose of polonium he had received is usually fatal. Guzzanti told Reuters:

"They also said so far, nobody could ever survive this poison, so it is
very unlikely he could. But, if he doesn't collapse in three months, there
is a kind of hope ... They said that every six months ... the
radioactivity decreases by half".[17]

Latest news inform that he was only exposed to minute traces of
polonium.[10]

Litvinenko's brother Maxim, who lives in Italy, told that Scaramella
wanted to use his brother as a source for his research into Italian
politicians and their alleged links to the Russian intelligence services.
According to Maxim, one of the things Alexander Litvinenko did for
Scaramella was sit down in front of a video camera in early 2006 in Rome.
Litvinenko said that the video should not be leaked to the press, and
warned that he personally knew nothing about Prodi. However he went on
saying, in front of camera, that former FSB deputy chief Anatoly Trofimov
warned him in 2000 that he should not move to Italy because Prodi was "one
of their men".[18] Maxim said he was paid E200 in cash to translate on the
day Scaramella recorded the video. Scaramella paid Alexander Litvinenko
E500-600 to cover travel expenses.[18]

On December 24, 2006, Scaramella returned to Italy where he was
immediately arrested by DIGOS, a division of the Italian national police.
He is charged with calumny,[6] gunrunning, and violating state
secrets.[19] Scaramella was accused by Pietro Saviotti, a Rome prosecutor,
of being involved in shipments of arms intended for an attempt on his own
life and that of Senator Guzzanti.[8] The case concerns on Scaramella's
accounts to police of a plot against his life by the ex-Ukrainian agent
Alexander Talik.[18] Prosecutors suspect Scaramella may have made this
false flag plot up to pressure Litvinenko to give him information he
wanted, or to make himself seem more credible as a parliamentary
consultant. According to court documents, Talik said that Scaramella once
asked him to sign a letter making false accusations against an
unidentified Russian. The private meeting took place after Scaramella had
told police Talik was trying to kill him. Talik told police:

"He showed me the police statement and then showed me a letter that I
should have signed, but I didn't do it because they were lies."[18]

A judge denied Scaramella bail, citing concerns that he might flee.[18]
Italian Mitrokhin Commission
Scaramella's repeated offers to collaborate with the Italian secret
services were all rejected in the 1990s by the Italian government.[18]
Nonetheless, from 2003 to 2006 he worked for the Italian Parliament's
Mitrokhin Commission investigating KGB activity in Italy. Several Italian
newspapers have reported interceptions of telephone calls between the
president of the commission, Paolo Guzzanti, a member of ex-prime minister
Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, and Mario Scaramella (on November
30, 2006 in Corriere della Sera[2] and on December 1, 2006 in
L'Unità[3]). In the interceptions, Guzzanti declared that the Mitrokhin
Commission's unstated goal was to depict Romano Prodi as tied to the KGB,
and financed by Moscow in order to discredit him. Scaramella, according to
the interceptions, was to collect false witnesses among KGB refugees in
Europe to support this aim. The Mitrokhin Commission was shut down in 2006
without any concrete result provided, a new parliamentary commission
instituted to investigate about it.

According to prosecutor Pietro Salvitti, cited by La Repubblica and who
has indicted Scaramella, Nicolò Pollari, head of SISMI indicted in the
Imam Rapito affair, as well as SISMI n°2, Marco Mancini, arrested in July
2006 for the same reason, were some of the informers, alongside Mario
Scaramella, of senator Paolo Guzzanti. Beside targeting Romano Prodi and
his staff, this "network", according to Pietro Salvitti's words, also
aimed at defaming General Giuseppe Cucchi (current director of the Cesis),
Milan's judges Armando Spataro, in charge of the Imam Rapito case, and
Guido Salvini, as well as La Repubblica reporters Carlo Bonini and
Giuseppe D'Avanzo.[20] The investigation also showed a connection between
Scaramella and the CIA, in particular through Filippo Marino, one of
Scaramella's closest partners since the 1990s and co-founder of the ECPP,
who lives today in the US. Marino has acknowledged in an interview an
association with former and active CIA officers, including Lou Palombo,
who worked 22 years for Langley's agency, and Robert Lady, former CIA
station chief in Milan, indicted by prosecutor Armando Spataro for having
coordinated the abduction of Abu Omar, the Imam Rapito.[8]


==========================================

Alexander Litvinenko poisoning -- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


On November 1, 2006, former lieutenant colonel of the Russian Federation's
Federal Security Service Alexander Litvinenko suddenly fell ill and was
hospitalized. He died three weeks later, becoming the first known victim
of lethal polonium-210-induced acute radiation syndrome. Litvinenko's
allegations about the misdeeds of the FSB and his public accusations that
the the Russian government was behind his unusual malady resulted in
worldwide media coverage.

British authorities are investigating his death and it was reported on
December 1 that scientists at the Atomic Weapons Establishment had traced
the source of the polonium to a nuclear power plant in Russia.[1] On
December 3, reports stated that Britain has demanded the right to speak to
at least five Russians implicated in Litvinenko's death, and Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov asserted that Moscow was willing to answer
"concrete questions."[2] Russian Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika said on
Tuesday, December 5 that any Russian citizen who may be charged in the
poisoning will be tried in Russia, not Britain.[3] Moreover, Chaika stated
that Russian prosecutors would present any questions to Russian citizens
in the presence of the UK detectives.[4]


On 26 January 2007 The Guardian reported that the British government was
preparing an extradition request asking that Andrei Lugovoi be returned to
the United Kingdom to stand trial for Litvinenko's murder.[5]


On 22 May 2007 Sir Ken Macdonald QC (Director of Public Prosecutions of
England and Wales) announced that Britain would seek extradition of
Lugovoi and attempt to charge him with murdering Litvinenko, and on 28 May
the Foreign Office formally submitted an extradition request to the
Russian Government. [6] Russia has stated that they will not allow the
extradition of any Russian citizens [7], as the Constitution of Russia
explicitly forbids the extradition of Russian citizens to foreign
countries (Art. 61).[8] Russian citizens can be convicted of crimes
committed abroad by Russian courts in case foreign law agencies provide
necessary evidence.

Illness and poisoning

On November 1, 2006, Litvinenko suddenly fell ill. Earlier that day he had
met with two former KGB agents, Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun. Lugovoi
is a former bodyguard of Russian ex-Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar (also
reportedly poisoned in November 2006) and former chief of security for the
Russian TV channel ORT. Kovtun is now a businessman. Litvinenko had also
had lunch at Itsu, a sushi restaurant on Piccadilly in London, with an
Italian acquaintance, Mario Scaramella, to whom he reportedly made the
allegations regarding Romano Prodi.[9] Scaramella, attached to the
Mitrokhin Commission investigating KGB penetration of Italian politics,
claimed to have information on the death of Anna Politkovskaya, 48, a
journalist who was killed at her Moscow apartment in October 2006. He
passed Litvinenko papers supposedly concerning her fate. On November 20,
it was reported that Scaramella had gone into hiding and was in fear for
his life.[10]


Oleg Gordievsky, a long-time acquaintance of Litvinenko and another former
KGB colonel who had defected to the UK, told the BBC he believed
Litvinenko was poisoned at the flat of an old Russian friend, with whom he
had tea before going to the sushi restaurant. Gaidar himself was struck by
a sudden unexplained illness on November 24.[11]


Litvinenko's poisoning is now attributed to the radionuclide polonium-210
after the Health Protection Agency found significant amounts of this rare
and toxic element in his body. The poisoning was widely covered in the
British media beginning 18 November 2006, though it had been covered in
other countries for several days before.[12]


Thallium - initial hypothesis


Scotland Yard initially investigated claims that Litvinenko was poisoned
with thallium. It was reported that early tests appeared to confirm the
presence of the poison.[13][14] Among the distinctive effects of thallium
poisoning are hair loss and damage to peripheral nerves,[15] and a
photograph of Litvinenko in hospital, released to the media on his
behalf,[16] indeed showed his hair to have fallen out. Litvinenko
attributed his initial survival to his cardiovascular fitness and swift
medical treatment. It was later suggested a radioactive isotope of
thallium might have been used to poison Litvinenko.[17] Dr. Amit Nathwani,
one of Litvinenko's physicians, said "His symptoms are slightly odd for
thallium poisoning, and the chemical levels of thallium we were able to
detect are not the kind of levels you'd see in toxicity."[18] Litvinenko's
condition deteriorated, and he was moved into intensive care on November
20. Hours before his death, three unidentified circular-shaped objects
were found in his stomach via an X-ray scan.[19] It is thought these
objects were almost certainly shadows caused by the presence of Prussian
blue, the treatment he had been given for thallium poisoning.[15][20]


Subsequently it was reported that traces of thallium are commonly found
with polonium: "A tiny amount of thallium, a common impurity in polonium
and a poison in its own right, was also found (in Litvinenko's body
fluids). Polonium is typically made by bombarding bismuth-209, a heavy
metal similar to antimony, with neutrons to make bismuth-210, which
rapidly decays into polonium-210. But bismuth can also decay into
thallium-206 (206Tl) -- which is why polonium might have traces of
thallium as well."[21] But 206Tl has a half life of minutes so it is
unlikely that any would have been present by the time it was brought into
the UK. It is more likely that stable lead would be found as an impurity
in the polonium used.


On February 22 2007, two American women who were at a family wedding in
Moscow were taken ill with thallium poisoning.[22]


Death and last statement


On November 22, Litvinenko's medical staff at University College Hospital
reported he had suffered a "major setback" due to either heart failure or
an overnight heart attack; he died the following day. Scotland Yard
reported that "Inquiries continue into the circumstances surrounding how
Mr Litvinenko, 43 years, of North London, became unwell."[23]


On November 25, an article attributed to Litvinenko was published by the
Mail on Sunday Online entitled Why I believe Putin wanted me dead.[24]


Litvinenko's postmortem took place on December 1. It has been stated that
three physicians attended, including one chosen by the family. Walter
Litvinenko has stated he was told by the doctors that Litvinenko's body
had five times the level of polonium-210 that would be considered
lethal.[25][26]


According to Akhmed Zakayev, the Qur'an was read to him a day prior to his
death.[27] Litvinenko's funeral reading took place on December 7 at the
Central London mosque, after which his body was buried at Highgate
Cemetery in north London.[28]


Investigations


Greater London's Metropolitan Police Service Terrorism Unit has been
investigating the poisoning and death. The head of the Counter-Terrorism
Unit, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, stated the police "will
trace possible witnesses, examine Mr. Litvinenko's movements at relevant
times, including when he first became ill and identify people he may have
met. There will also be an extensive examination of CCTV footage."[29] The
United Kingdom Government COBRA committee met to discuss the
investigation.[30] Richard Kolko from the United States FBI stated "when
requested by other nations, we provide assistance" - referring to the FBI
now joining the investigation for their expertise on radioactive
weapons.[31][32] The Metropolitan Police announced on 6 December 2006 that
it was treating Litvinenko's death as murder.[33] Interpol has also joined
the investigation, providing "speedy exchange of information" between
British, Russian and German police.[34]


It was known that Litvinenko had travelled by bus to the Millennium Hotel
in Grosvenor Square, he had a bus ticket in his pocket from that day. The
bus contained no signs of radioactivity - but large amounts had been
detected at the hotel, leading police to believe that this was where the
poisoning had taken place.[35] Polonium was subsequently found in a
fourth-floor room and in a cup in the Pine Bar at the hotel.[36]


On November 29, 2006, British Airways announced that three of its
passenger jets had been linked to the investigation of Litvinenko's death
and two were found by British authorities to contain trace amounts of a
radioactive substance.[37][38] British Airways later published a list of
221 flights of the contaminated aircraft, involving around 33,000
passengers, and advised those potentially affected to contact the UK
Department for Health help. On December 5 they issued an email to all of
their customers, informing them that the aircraft had all been declared
safe by the UK's Health Protection Agency and would be entering back into
service.


Flights cited as being of particular interest included flights BA875 and
BA873 from Moscow to Heathrow on October 25 and October 31, as well as
flights BA872 and BA874 from Heathrow to Moscow on October 28 and November
3.[39] A further two aircraft in Russia are now being investigated.[40]
Andrei Lugovoi has said he flew from London to Moscow on a November 3
flight. He stated he arrived in London on October 31 to attend the
football match between Arsenal and CSKA Moscow on November 1.[41]When the
news broke that a radioactive substance had been used to murder the
ex-spy, a team of scientists rushed to find out how far the contamination
had spread. It led them on a trail involving hundreds of people and dozens
of locations it was reported on June 5, 2007.[42]


Polonium-210


Shortly after his death, the UK's Health Protection Agency HPA stated that
tests had established that Litvinenko had significant amounts of the
radioactive isotope polonium-210 (Chemical symbol: 210Po) in his body.
This was most likely either inhaled or ingested. Traces of it were found
at several London locations: in his Muswell Hill home, at the Millenium
Hotel in Grosvenor Square, and at the sushi restaurant where he had met
Scaramella on November 1, and where he regularly held meetings, including
an October 16 meeting with two Russians. Traces were also found in a
former Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky's offices and his residence in
Mayfair.[43]


The effect on Litvinenko appears consistent with a radiation dose of
approximately 2 GBq (50 mCi) which corresponds to about 10 micrograms of
210Po. That is 200 times the median lethal dose of around 238 Î¼Ci or
50 nanograms in the case of ingestion.[21] However a lower activity was
estimated by a different worker.[44]


British and US government sources both said the use of 210Po as a poison
has never been documented before,[45] and this was probably the first time
a person has been tested for the presence of 210Po in his or her body.
According to Maxim Shingarkin, an expert on radiation safety, the theory
of Litvinenko's exposure to 210Po at the sushi bar or at the hotel's
restaurant is not viable, given the nature of 210Po. If it is uncontained
-- mixed into food or a drink -- 210Po will quickly transform into its
aerosol form, effectively contaminating an enclosed space. Had this been
the case, the other customers and the staff of the sushi bar and the
restaurant would be severely affected as well. Since all the locations
where the presence of 210Po was detected display only trace amounts,
originating from Litvinenko himself, his initial exposure to the substance
may have occurred elsewhere.[46] Since this original assessment, however,
a highly contaminated tea cup has been identified in the Pines Bar of the
Millenium Hotel, and police are now convinced that the poison was in
Litvinenko's tea cup.[citation needed]


The HPA is investigating[47] the risk to people who had contact with
Litvinenko and confirmed that, as a precautionary measure, some people had
been referred to a specialist clinic for possible radiological exposure
assessment.[48] The HPA is also seeking to analyze impurities in the
polonium that may act as a "fingerprint" to identify its source.[49]


Irene Joliot-Curie was the first person to die because of exposure to
polonium. Her parents Marie and Pierre Curie were first to discover and
name this new element in 1898.[50]


Sources of polonium


The use of polonium in the poisoning has been seen as proof of involvement
of a state actor,[51] as more than microscopic amounts of polonium can
only be produced in nuclear reactors.[52] Most polonium produced in
Russia, however, is distributed by western commercial distributors.[1]


Reports now state that scientists of the UK's Atomic Weapons Establishment
have confirmed the polonium was manufactured and the source is likely to
originate from a Russian nuclear reactor.[1][21][27] This of course does
not exclude the possibility that the polonium that killed Litvinenko was
imported by a licensed commercial distributor, but no one -- including the
Russian government -- has proposed that this is likely, particularly in
regard to the radiation detected on the British Airways passenger jets
travelling between Moscow and London.


It is said the FSB had access to radioactive material in order to trace
Russian mafia money.[53]


Polonium-210 production


Most of the world's polonium-210 (210Po) is produced in Russia in
Chernobyl-type RBMK reactors. About 100 grams (450,000 Ci) are produced by
Russia annually. According to a claim by Sergei Kiriyenko, the head of
Russia's state atomic energy agency, RosAtom, all of it goes to U.S.
companies through a single authorized supplier.[1]


Polonium-210 is a synthetic element that has a half-life of 138 days as it
gradually transforms into lead. This means that after four months
approximately half the polonium has been transformed, and it drops to
about one eighth of its original potency a year after it was first
produced. It is thus virtually impossible that the polonium came from a
pre-1991 Soviet-era source, and it is unlikely to have been in storage for
more than a year.


Commercial products containing polonium


No credible nuclear authority has asserted that a commercial product is a
likely source for the poisoning of Litvinenko. However, potentially lethal
amounts of polonium are present in anti-static brushes sold to
photographers.[54] Many of the devices are available by mail order.
General Electric markets a static eliminator module with 500 microcuries
(20 MBq), roughly 2.5 times the lethal dose of 210Po if 100%-ingested, for
US$71.[55] If these were used to collect the amount of polonium likely
used in the poisoning -- and one could devise a method of separating the
polonium from its protective casing -- it would take 100 modules for
US$7100. That such a thing could be done is extremely difficult according
to the manufacturers and would be highly dangerous to anyone attempting to
do so.


Tiny amounts of such radioisotopes are sometimes used in the laboratory
and for teaching purposes -- typically of the order of 4â€"40 kBq
(0.1â€"1.0 μCi), in the form of sealed sources, with the Po deposited on
a substrate or in a resin or polymer matrix -- are often exempt from
licencing by NRC and similar authorities as they are not considered
hazardous. Small amounts of 210Po are available to the public in the
United States by mail order from a company called United Nuclear as
'needle sources' for laboratory experimentation. It would require about
15,000 210Po of these sources at a total cost of about $1 million to
obtain a toxic quantity of Polonium. They typically sell between 4 and 8
sources per year.[56][57]


According to some estimates,[58], the cost of the quantity of pure
Polonium-210 used to kill Litvinenko would be around £20 million (US$ 39
million),[59] which would make it the most expensive murder in
history[citation needed]. However, this estimation seems to be based on
retail prices of commercially available demonstration radiation sources.


Speculation on why Polonium-210 was chosen


Filmmaker and friend of Litvinenko, Andrei Nekrasov, has suggested that
the poison was "sadistically designed to trigger a slow, tortuous and
spectacular demise". [60] Russian expert Paul Joyal suggested that â"
message has been communicated to anyone who wants to speak out against the
Kremlin. (...) If you do, no matter who you are, where you are, we will
find you, and we will silence you, in the most horrible way possible".[61]


Oleg Gordievsky, the most senior KGB agent ever to defect to Britain, said
they wanted to "demonstrate something new".[62] Another suggestion by
Gordievsky, is that the poisoners were unaware that technology existed to
detect traces left by polonium-210: "Did you know that polonium-210 leaves
traces? I didn't. And no one did. (...) what they didn't know was that
this equipment, this technology exists in the West -- they didn't know
that, and that was where they miscalculated."[63] Philip Walker, professor
of physics at the University of Surrey made a similar comment: "This seems
to have been a substance carefully chosen for its ability to be hard to
detect in a person who has ingested it."[64]


Another reason for choosing polonium-210 may have been to suggest the
likely involvement of the Russian government, to prevent its further
convergence to the West. The theory was voiced by prominent writer and
journalist Yulia Latynina, who works for Novaya Gazeta, a newspaper that
normally tends to be very critical about Russian governmental policies.[65]


Theories

Russian Government involvement theory

The circumstances surrounding Litvinenko's death led to the assumption
that he was killed by a Russian secret service. [attribution needed]
Viktor Ilyukhin, a deputy chairman of the Russian Parliament's security
committee for the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, said that he
"can't exclude that possibility". He said: "That former KGB officer had
been irritating the Russian authorities for a long time and possibly knew
some state secrets. So when our special services got the chance to operate
not only inside but outside the country, they decided to get rid of
him."[66] He apparently referred to a recent Russian counter-terrorism law
that gives the President the right to order such actions.[67][68]
Moreover, it has been reported in the Chechen State Press that an
investigator of the Russian apartment bombings, Mikhail Trepashkin wrote
in a letter from prison that an FSB team had organised in 2002 to kill
Litvinenko. He also reported FSB plans to kill relatives of Litvinenko in
Moscow in 2002, although these have not been carried out.[69][70]


Leonid Nevzlin, a former Yukos oil company shareholder and Russian exile
currently living in Israel, told the Associated Press in late November
that Litvinenko had given him a document related to a dossier on criminal
charges made by Russian prosecutors against people connected to Yukos.
Nevzlin, who is charged by Russian prosecutors with having organized
killings, fraud and tax evasion, claimed Litvinenko's inquiries may have
provided a motive for his poisoning.[71]


Akhmed Zakayev suggested that radioactive polonium has been previously
tested on Chechen children.[72] The mass poisoning of Chechen school
children by the unknown substance with prolonged action has been described
by Anna Politkovskaya in three articles published in Novaya Gazeta in
2006.[73]


State Duma member, Sergei Abeltsev's comment of 24 November 2006 implies
that Litvinenko was killed for his anti-Russian Government activities:[74]
"The deserved punishment reached the traitor. I am sure his terrible
death will be a warning to all the traitors that in Russia the treason is
not to be forgiven. I would recommend to citizen Berezovsky to avoid any
food at the commemoration for his accomplice Litvinenko. "

Litvinenko's widow Marina Litvinenko told Mail on Sunday that she believed
the Russian authorities could have been behind the murder, although she
didn't think president Putin himself was directly involved. Furthermore,
she said she would not cooperate with the Russian investigators:[75]

"I can't believe that they will tell the truth. I can't believe if they
ask about evidence they will use it in the proper way."

Russian Government response

The state controlled press in Russia has offered a number of alternatives
to Litvinenko's demise.[76] As one example, Russian state television has
taken the view that if Litvinienko knew any important secrets, he would
already have made them public during his six-year-long stay in the United
Kingdom. According to this view, he was not an important person and not
worth a loud political scandal. Also a suspicious simultaneousness between
the deaths of the so-called oppositionals and big international summits
with Russian participation was noted, along with the question who could be
interested in worsening Russia's and Putin's image in front of them.[77]

Vladimir Putin's aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky commented:
"the excessive number of calculated coincidences between the deaths of
people, who defined themselves as the opposition to the Russian
authorities, and major international events involving Vladimir Putin is a
source of concern. I am far from believing in the conspiracy theory, but,
in this case, I think that we are witnessing a well-rehearsed plan of the
consistent discrediting of the Russian Federation and its chief. In such
cases, the famed "qui bono"[sic] question has to be asked.[78] "

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesperson, dismissed the idea of Putin's
involvement as "pure nonsense".[79] The involvement of Moscow was denied
by SVR representative Sergei Ivanov who said:

"From the logical viewpoint and from the 'Who benefits?' viewpoint, I
can't see any reasons for the speculation actively being disseminated by
the western press alleging this might be the long arms of the KGB or the
FSB, There should definitely be a careful and objective investigation. I
am sure that it will be conducted and Russia is willing to render any
assistance.[80]"

The main explanation put forward by the Russian Government appears to be
that the deaths of Litvinenko and Politkovskaya were intended to embarrass
President Putin. Federation Council of Russia Speaker Sergey Mironov said
that "reports about Anna Politkovskaya and Litvinenko's deaths were
released when Putin was meeting with EU leaders in Finland. I don't think
the coincidence was accidental".[81] However, Mironov went on to say, "It
would be premature to make any conclusions about Litvinenko's death. We
must wait until the investigation produces specific results."[81]

British novelist Rupert Allason said he would be most surprised if the FSB
had tried to kill Mr Litvinenko because it would fly in the face of 65
years of Soviet or Russian practice, as "[n]either the FSB nor the KGB has
ever killed a defector on foreign soil and their predecessors, even under
Stalin, did so only once in the case of Walter Krivitsky in Washington in
1941."[82] Despite some reports that a recent Russian counter-terrorism
law gives the President the right to order such actions,[83] in fact the
law in question refers only to "terrorists and their bases" abroad.

Before polonium-210 was identified as the poison, Wladimir Putin made the
comment that

"as far as I understand in the medical statement of British physicians, it
doesn't say that this was a result of violence, this is not a violent
death, so there is no ground for speculations of this kind.[84][85][86] "

He also called Litvinenko's letter "a provocation".

Since few people had any doubts about this being a case of poisoning, some
commentaries that discussed Putin's "curious" comment interpreted it as a
give-away of his involvement.[87][88]

It has now been stated that the Russian government may consider using UK
libel laws to silence journalists speculating about the Russian
government's involvement.[89]


Russian cooperation and extradition

Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika said, "we will do everything to provide
legal assistance to our colleagues", referring to Scotland Yard
detectives. However, Chaika went on to say that "the person who is accused
will be convicted by a Russian court". It is reported that Andrei Lugovoi
will not be interviewed now as the Russian authorities have refused access
to him because of reported illness. However, Lugovoi's lawyer states that
Lugovoi is fit to be interviewed and it is not true he is ill.[90]

Possibly related events
The UK envoy in Russia, Tony Brenton, has been under harassment by a
pro-government youth group called Nashi. It has also been reported that
BBC Russian services have gone off air after "technical difficulties."[91]
Andrey Limarev, a former FSB agent and a colleague of Litvinenko, has
disappeared in the French Alps on December 12, 2006 after stating that he
"would be next". It is believed that Limarav was a potential witness to
the investigations.[92]
On March 2, 2007 Paul Joyal, a former director of security for the U.S.
Senate intelligence committee, who the previous weekend alleged on
national tele­vision that the Kremlin was involved in the poisoning of
Litvinenko, was shot near his Maryland home and was reported to be in
critical condition in hospital. An FBI spokesman, said the agency was
"assisting" the police investigation into the shooting; it is unusual for
the FBI to get involved in a local shooting incident. A person familiar
with the situation said NBC had hired bodyguards for some of the
journalists involved in the programme.[93]

Berezovsky theory
It has been claimed that the death of Litvinenko was connected to Boris
Berezovsky.[94][95] Former FSB chief Nikolay Kovalev, for whom Litvinenko
worked, said that the incident "looks like [the] hand of Berezovsky. I am
sure that no kind of intelligence services participated."[96]
Another exiled Russian agent, Evgeni Limarev, has confirmed that there may
have been a falling out between Berezovsky and Litvinenko and also that
the British (MI6) and American secret agents had told Litvinenko that his
life was in danger because of his ties with Berezovsky.[97]
On the other hand, the FSB has previously accused Beresowski of various
murders, including that of Sergei Juschenkow, who worked with Berezovsky
in founding the political party, Liberal Russia, and was assassinated
shortly after the party was registered and Berezovsky was expelled
(another co-founder of this party Vladimir Golovlev was murdered a few
months earlier). Four people were put on trial and convicted of the
murder, among them Mikhail Kodanev, a co-chairman of Liberal Russia.
Yushenkov's death and the conviction and jailing of the co-chairman of
Liberal Russia for his murder is widely perceived to have been part of a
policy of eliminating the political threat posed by Berezovsky to the
establishment. Therefore the accusations from the FSB of Berezovsky's
involvement warrant careful consideration.
Litvinenko himself said, in an article published after his death, that
while he was employed by the FSB he was requested as part of a team to
assassinate Berezovsky but refused, and instead went straight to him with
the information.[98] Traces of polonium-210 were found in an office
belonging to Berezovsky.[43]

Yukos theory
It has been suggested that Littvinenko was killed because of his research
into the Russian Government's campaign against the management of the
Russian oil company Yukos and its renationalisation. According to The
Times, the police investigation is looking at Litvinenko's journey to
Israel prior to his illness and death, where it is alleged that he gave
information regarding Yukos to Leonid Nevzlin, the former deputy head of
Yukos, who fled to Tel Aviv, including material relating to the deaths of
former Yukos workers and information relating to the imprisonment of
Mikhail Khodorkovsky.[99] It is believed that these documents have been
handed over to the British investigators.[100][101]

Yuri Shvets a former KGB agent has contacted police in London and
detectives have flown out to Washington to interview him. He told the
Observer that Litvinenko claimed before his death that he had prepared a
dossier on the Russian Government's relationship with Yukos.[102]


Ex-FSB members theory

According to the Guardian: "British officials say the perpetrators were
probably former Russian security agents, or members of a criminal gang
linked to them. They also say that only a "state" institution would have
access to polonium-210. They insist there is no evidence of the
involvement of the Russian government."[103]

"Scaramella showed Litvinenko a "hit-list" of people allegedly targeted
for assassination by the Russian intelligence services and a shadowy group
of KGB veterans called Dignity and Honour, which is run by a Colonel
Velentin Velichko."[104] Scaramella was, however, doubtful as to the
authenticity of the emails he had received: "The problem for me was these
mails were so full of details, so specific that they didn't seem
genuine."[105] Moreover, according to Scaramella, Litvinenko was also
skeptical: "Alex laughed it off. He didn't have faith in the person who
sent the message and said the whole thing was incredible. He said it was
not realistic at all."[106]

The Russian intelligence services are highly bureaucratic and legalistic.
"There isn't a great deal of room for personal initiative, everything has
to be officially authorised and signed off. And this murder would have
been a highly complex operation involving many people not one or two
acting in isolation."[104]

Opponents in 2008 election theory

Some believe that the public assassination of Litvinenko shows the growing
fight between Kremlin clans is "spinning out of control" ahead of the 2008
Russian presidential elections, in which Putin said he would not run for a
third term.[107]

Suicide theory

Some observers have suggested the death was suicide; the finding of
radioactive material at several locations, including Litvinenko's house
has led to some suggesting that Litvinenko killed himself to discredit the
Russian government.[108] These theories have now been discounted by the
investigating police, without further elaboration.

Blackmail plot theory

In The Observer, a Russian student, Julia Svetlichnaja, said that
Litvinenko openly told her that he was intending to blackmail senior
Russian officials and businessmen. She also said that she had become
increasingly concerned about his numerous emails alleging a great variety
of plots, particularly noting his claim that Putin was a paedophile.[109]
The Observer claimed his "access to such documents could have made him an
enemy of both big business interests and the Kremlin".[102] However,
Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, a friend of Aleksander Litvinenko, has
argued that blackmailing people was against Litvinenko's nature.[110]

Following this, the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten suggested that
Svetlichnaja may have been part of a plot to discredit Litvinenko by
making him appear to be an odd individual with many unfounded stories.
Aftenposten based their allegations against Svetlichnaja on the word of an
'unnamed British professor of Russian'.[111] Svetlichnaja has claimed the
professor was actually "veteran Cold War propagandist" Martin
Dewhirst.[112] Dewhirst is a longtime lecturer at the University of
Glasgow and collaborator with the CIA-funded Radio Free Europe. [113]

Aftenposten suggested that Svetlichnaja was operating under a front
company as non-official cover for the Russian government in order to
ensure Litvinenko was made to be seen as a paranoid individual. The
newspaper made a call to speak to the director of the company Russian
Investors to which Svetlichnaja was allegedly connected. The director,
Alexei Yashechkin, said "it was probably someone of a similar name" and
became increasingly hesitant on the phone before hanging up.[114] [115]

After these allegations Svetlichnaja appeared in person to defend herself
at a press conference at the University of Westminster on 8 December 2006,
which she held together with fellow student James Heartfield who had
accompanied her as she met Litvinenko.[116] Aftenposten's reporter said
that she was "cut off and verbally attacked" as she attempted to ask
questions about Svetlichnaja's role at the company Russian Investors,[117]
though Svetlichnaja has denied that she refused to speak to the
reporter.[118]

Suggestions similar to those made by Aftenposten also appeared in The
Sunday Times, but following a libel suit, Times Newspapers published an
apology in which they said they were "happy to make it clear that Ms
Svetlichnaja has never worked for a state-owned Russian company" and
accepted that "she was not part of any Kremlin-inspired campaign to
discredit Mr Litvinenko".[119] [120]

Litvinenko-Shvets report

In an interview with the BBC broadcast on 16 December 2006, Yuri Shvets
said that he and Litvinenko had compiled a report investigating the
activities of senior Kremlin officials on behalf of a British company
looking to invest "dozens of millions of dollars" in a project in
Russia.[121] Shvets said the dossier was so incriminating about one senior
Kremlin official, who was not named, it was likely that Litvinenko was
murdered in revenge. He alleged that Litvinenko had shown the dossier to
another business associate, Andrei Lugovoi, who had worked for the KGB and
later the FSB. Shvets alleged that Lugovoi is still an FSB informant and
he had passed the dossier to members of the spy service. Shvets says he
was interviewed about his allegations by Scotland Yard detectives
investigating Litvinenko's murder.


Bungling smugglers theory
According to this theory,[122] Litvinenko was part of a polonium smuggling
ring.

Lugovoi or Kovtun came to London on three separate occasions with a
consignment of polonium and met with Litvinenko, each time contaminating
the hotel rooms to a certain extent, the first occasion being on October
16 2006.[123] Litvinenko himself was contaminated with polonium on more
than one occasion.[124] On the final occasion, the container in which the
polonium was being transported broke open, and the polonium fell on the
floor of a hotel room (probably at the Millennium hotel), leaving
contamination there.[125] The polonium was picked up off the floor and put
into a teacup until a better container could be obtained, at which point
Litvinenko and Kovtun were contaminated. This also left strong
contamination in the teacup, which remained despite the cup having been
washed several times by hotel staff. Upon leaving the room, someone turned
off the light, leaving polonium on the switch. Then, to avoid being linked
to the contaminated teacup in the hotel room, Litvinenko and the others
left the teacup in the Pine Bar, among other dirty cups.[125] Kovtun is
currently under investigation by German detectives for suspected plutonium
smuggling into Germany in October.[34]

It is reported that MI6 had learnt that Al Qaida had offered millions of
dollars to anyone that could supply them with polonium. By an interception
of a phone call in Peshawar, GCHQ learnt information that Al Qaida were
actively seeking polonium. This has now been passed to investigators to
find out whether Litvinenko was in any way connected with attempting to
supply polonium.[126]

Suspects

Igor the Assassin 
The code-name for a former KGB assassin. He is said[attribution needed] to
be a former Spetznaz officer born in 1960 who is a Judo master and walks
with a slight limp. He speaks perfect English and Portuguese. He may be
the same person who served Litvinenko tea in the London hotel
room.[citation needed]

Andrei Lugovoi 
A former Federal Security Service of Russia (FSB) operative and
millionaire who met with Litvinenko on the day he fell ill (1 November).
He had visited London at least three times in the month before
Litvinenko's death and met with the victim four times. Traces of
polonium-210 have been discovered in all three hotels where Lugovoi stayed
after flying to London on October 16, and in the Pescatori restaurant in
Dover Street, Mayfair, where Mr Lugovoi is understood to have dined before
1 November; and aboard two aircraft on which he had travelled.[127][128]He
has declined to say whether he had been contaminated with
polonium-210.[129]

Dmitry Kovtun 
A Russian businessman and ex-KGB agent who met Litvinenko in London first
in mid-October and then on 1 November, the day Litvinenko fell ill. On 7
December Kovtun was hospitalized, with some sources initially reporting
him to be in coma.[130] On 9 December, German police find traces of
radiation at Hamburg flat used by Kovtun.[131] The following day, 10
December, German investigators identified the detected material as
polonium-210 and clarified that the substance was found where Kovtun had
slept the night before departing for London. British police also report
having detected polonium on the plane in which Kovtun travelled from
Moscow.[132] Three other points in Hamburg were identified as contaminated
with the same substance.[133] On 12 December Kovtun told Russia's Channel
One TV that his "health was improving".[34]
There are two conflicting theories about Dmitry Kovtun. One theory is, he
may be the murderer or one of the murderers of Alexander Litvinenko, and
may have made mistakes in handling the substance used, Polonium-210. The
other theory is, that he is a victim just like Alexander Litvinenko;
however, given how quickly Litvinenko fell ill once poisoned, it is
improbable that Kovtun was poisoned without consequence for such a long
period that he was able to travel so much and leave so many traces in his
wake[citation needed].
Kovtun is currently under investigation by German detectives for suspected
plutonium smuggling into Germany in October.[34]


Vyacheslav Sokolenko 
A business partner of Andrei Lugovoi.[134]

Vladislav 
The Times of London stated that the police have identified the man they
believe may have poisoned Litvinenko with a fatal polonium dose in a cup
of tea on the fourth-floor room at the Millennium Hotel to discuss a
business deal with Dmitry Kovtun and Andrei Lugovoi before going to the
bar. These three men were joined in the room later by the mystery figure
who was introduced as Vladislav, a man, who could help Litvinenko win a
lucrative contract with a Moscow-based private security firm.[135]


Vladislav is said to have arrived in London from Hamburg on November 1 on
the same flight as Dmitry Kovtun. His image is recorded by security
cameras at Heathrow airport on arrival. He is described as being in his
early 30s, tall, strong, with short black hair and Central Asian features.
Oleg Gordievsky, an ex-KGB agent said that this man was believed to have
used a Lithuanian or Slovak passport, and he left the country using
another EU passport.


Leonid Nevzlin 
A businessman living in Israel, he has been accused of links to several
murders in Russia and was one of the key figures in the Yukos oil company.
[136]

Other persons related to the case

Yegor Gaidar 
The sudden illness of Yegor Gaidar in Ireland on November 24, the day of
Litvinenko's death, has been linked to his visit to the restaurant where
polonium was present and is being investigated as part of the overall
investigation in the UK and Ireland.[137] However, other observers noted
he was probably poisoned after drinking a strange-tasting cup of tea.
Gaidar was taken to hospital; doctors said his condition is not
life-threatening and that he will recover.[138][139] This incident was
similar to the poisoning of Anna Politkovskaya on a flight to Beslan.
After poisoning, Gaidar claimed that it was enemies of Kremlin who tried
to poison him. He gave reasoning that Kremlin was a least interested
organization to kill him. He also published his thoughts in Financial
Times.


Mario Scaramella 
The United Kingdom's Health Protection Agency (HPA) announced that
significant quantities of polonium-210 had been found in Mario Scaramella
although his health was found to be normal. He has been admitted to
hospital for tests and monitoring.[140] Doctors say that Scaramella was
exposed to a much lower level of polonium-210 than Litvinenko had been
exposed to, and that preliminary tests found "no evidence of radiation
toxicity".[141] According to the 6 pm channel 4 (9 December 2006) news the
intake of polonium he suffered will only result in a dose of 1 mSv. This
will lead to a 1 in 20000 chance of cancer. According to The Independent,
Scaramella alleged that Litvinenko was involved in smuggling radioactive
material to Zurich in 2000.[142]

Boris Volodarsky, a KGB defector residing in London, stated that Evgeni
Limarev, another former KGB officer residing in France, continued
collaboration with FSB, infiltrated Litvinenko's and Scaramella's circles
of trust and misinformed the latter.[143][144]

Marina Litvinenko 
UK reports state Litvinenko's widow tested positive for polonium, though
she is not seriously ill. The Ashdown Park hotel in Sussex has been
evacuated as a precaution, possibly to do with Scaramella's previous visit
there.[145] According to the 6 pm channel 4 (9 December 2006) news the
intake of polonium she suffered will only result in a dose of 100 mSv.
This will lead to a 1 in 200 chance of cancer.


Akhmed Zakayev 
The forensic investigation also includes the silver Mercedes by
Litvinenko's home believed to be owned by his close friend and neighbour
Akhmed Zakayev, the foreign minister of the rebel government in exile from
Chechnya.[146][147][148] Reports now state that traces of radioactive
material were found in the vehicle.[149]


British Police 
Two London Metropolitan police officers tested positive for 210Po
poisoning.[150]


Bar staff 
Some of the bar staff at the hotel where the polonium contaminated teacup
was found were found to have suffered an intake of polonium (dose in the
range of 10s of mSv).

Chronology

Background history

June 7, 1994: A remote-controlled bomb detonated aiming at chauffeured
Mercedes 600 with oligarch Boris Berezovsky and his bodyguard in the rear
seat. Driver died but Berezovsky left the car unscathed. Litvinenko, then
with the organized-crime unit of the FSB, was an investigating officer of
the assassination attempt. The case was never solved, but it was at this
point that Litvinenko befriended Berezovsky.
November 17, 1998: At a time that Vladimir Putin was the head of the FSB,
five officers including Lieutenant-Colonel Litvinenko accuse the Director
of the Directorate for the Analysis of Criminal Organizations
Major-General Eugeny Hoholkhov and his deputy, 1st Rank Captain Alexander
Kamishnikov, of ordering them to assassinate Boris Berezovsky in November
1997.
August 26, 1999: Russia acknowledged bombing raids in Chechnya - start of
Second Chechen War.
August 31, 1999: Russian apartment bombings. Subsequently the Duma, on a
pro-Kremlin party block vote, sealed all materials related to Ryazan
incident for the next 75 years[citation needed] and forbade an
investigation of what really happened.[151]
December 31, 1999: Vladimir Putin succeeds Boris Yeltsin after he resigned
due to bad health.
March 26, 2000: Presidential elections, Putin elected.
March 14, 2004: Putin re-elected, opponent was Ivan Rybkin.

2006
October 2006

October 7: The Russian journalist and Kremlin critic Anna Politkovskaya is
shot in Moscow.
October 16: Andrei Lugovoi flies to London.
October 16-October 18: Former KGB agent Dmitry Kovtun visits London,
during which time he eats two meals with Litvinenko, one of them at the
Itsu sushi bar (see 1 November 2006).[130][152]
October 17: Litvinenko visits Risc Management, a security firm in
Cavendish Place, with Lugovoi and Kovtun.[153]
October 19: Litvinenko accuses President Putin of the Politkovskaya murder.
October 28: Dmitry Kovtun arrived in Hamburg, Germany from Moscow on an
Aeroflot flight. Later German police discovered that the passenger seat of
the car that picked him up at an airport was contaminated with
Polonium-210.
October 31: Dmitry Kovtun comes to London from Hamburg, Germany. German
police found that his ex-wife's apartment in Hamburg was contaminated with
polonium-210.[154]

November 2006

November 1: Just after 3 p.m., at the Itsu sushi restaurant on Picadilly,
Litvinenko meets the Italian security expert Mario Scaramella, who hands
alleged evidence to him concerning the murder of Politkovskaya. Around
4:15 p.m., he comes to the office of Boris Berezovsky to copy the papers
Scaramella had given him and hand them to Berezovsky. Around 5 p.m. he
meets with the former KGB agents Andrei Lugovoi, Dmitry Kovtun and
Vyacheslav Sokolenko in the Millenium Hotel in London. He later becomes
ill.[155][156]
November 3: Litvinenko is brought into Barnet General Hospital.
November 11: Litvinenko tells the BBC he was poisoned and is in very bad
condition.
November 17: Litvinenko is moved to University College Hospital and placed
under armed guard.
November 19: Reports emerge that Litvinenko has been poisoned with
thallium, a chemical element used in the past as a rat poison.
November 20: Litvinenko is moved to the Intensive Care Unit. The police
take statements from people with close relation to Litvinenko. A Kremlin
speaker denies the Russian government is involved in the poisoning.
November 22: The hospital announces that Litvinenko's condition has
worsened substantially.
November 23: 9:21 PM: Litvinenko dies.
November 24: Litvinenko's dictated deathbed statement is published. He
accuses President Vladimir Putin of being responsible for his death. The
Kremlin rejects the accusation. The HPA announces that significant amounts
of Polonium-210 have been found in Litvinenko's body. Traces of the same
substance are also found at Litvinenko's house in North London, at Itsu
and at the Millenium Hotel.
November 24: Sergei Abeltsev, State Duma member from the LDPR, in his Duma
address he commented on the death of Litvinenko with the following words:
The deserved punishment reached the traitor. I am sure his terrible death
will be a warning to all the traitors that in Russia the treason is not to
be forgiven. I would recommend to citizen Berezovsky to avoid any food at
the commemoration for his crime accomplice Litvinenko[74]
November 24: The British police state they are investigating the death as
a possible poisoning.
November 28: Scotland Yard announces that traces of Polonium-210 have been
found in seven different places in London. Among them, an office of the
Russian billionaire Boris Berezovsky, an avowed opponent of Putin.
November 29: The HPA announces screening of the nurses and physicians who
treated Litvinenko. The authorities find traces of a radioactive substance
on board British Airways planes.
November 30: Polonium-210 traces are found on a number of other planes,
most of them going to Moscow.

December 2006

December 1: An autopsy is performed on the body of Litvinenko. Toxicology
results from Mr Litvinenko's post-mortem examination revealed two "spikes"
of radiation poisoning, suggesting he received two separate doses.[157]
Scaramella tests positive for Polonium-210 and is admitted into a
hospital. Litvinenko's widow also tests positive for Polonium-210, but was
not sent to the hospital for treatment.
December 2: Scotland Yard's counter-terrorist unit have questioned Yuri
Shvets, a former KGB spy who emigrated to the United States in 1993. He
was questioned as a witness in Washington in the presence of FBI officers.
Shvets claimed that he has a "lead that can explain what happened".
December 6: Scotland Yard announced that it is treating his death as a
murder.[33]
December 7: Confused reports state that Dmitry Kovtun was hospitalized,
the reason has not yet been made clear.
December 7: Russian Office of the Prosecutor General has opened a criminal
case over poisoning of Litvinenko and Kovtun by the articles "Murder
committed in a way endangering the general public" and "Attempted murder
of two or more persons committed in a way endangering the general
public".[158]
December 8: Kovtun is reported to be in coma.[130]
December 9: German police find traces of radiation at Hamburg flat used by
Kovtun.[131]
December 9: UK police identify a single cup at the Pines Bar in the
Millennium Hotel in Mayfair which was almost certainly the one used to
administer the poison.[159]
December 11: Andrei Lugovoi is interrogated in Moscow by UK Scotland Yard
and General Procurator's office of the Russian Federation. He refuses to
reveal any information concerning the interrogation.[160]
December 12: Dmitry Kovtun tells a Russian TV station that his "health
[is] improving".[34]
December 24: Mario Scaramella was arrested in Naples on his return from
London, on apparently unrelated charges.[161]
December 27: Prosecutor General of Russia Yury Chaika accused Leonid
Nevzlin, a former Vice President of Yukos, exiled in Israel and wanted by
Russian authorities for a long time, of involvement in the poisoning, a
charge dismissed by the latter as a nonsense. [1]

2007

February 2007

February 5: Boris Berezovsky told the BBC that on his deathbed, Litvinenko
said that Lugovoi was responsible for his poisoning.[162]
February 6: The text of a letter written by Litvinenko's widow on 31
January to Putin, demanding that Putin work with British authorities on
solving the case, was released. [163]

May 2007

May 21: Sir Ken Macdonald QC (Director of Public Prosecutions of England
and Wales ) say that Lugovoi, should face trial for the "grave crime" of
murdering Litvinenko.[164]
May 22: Macdonald announces that Britain will seek extradition of Lugovoi
and attempt to charge him with murdering Litvinenko. The Russian
government states that they will not allow the extradition of any Russian
citizens. [7]
May 28: The British Foreign Office formally submits a request to the
Russian Government for the extradition of Lugovoi to the UK to face
criminal charges. [6]

The Constitution of Russia forbids extradition of Russian citizens to
foreign countries (Art. 61), so the request can not be fulfilled.[8]
Russian citizens can be convicted of crimes committed abroad by Russian
courts in case foreign law agencies provide necessary evidence.

May 31: Lugovoi held a news conference at which he accused MI6 of
attempting to recruit him and blamed either MI6, the Russian mafia, or
fugitive Kremlin opponent Boris Berezovsky for the killing. [165]

July 2007

July 16: The British Foreign Office confirms that, as a result of Russia's
refusal to extradite Lugovoi, four Russian diplomats are to be expelled
from the Russian Embassy in London. [166]
July 17: The Russia's deputy foreign minister, Mr Alexander Grushko,
threatens to expel 80 UK diplomats.[167]

Comparisons to other deaths

Deaths from ingesting radioactive materials

According to the IAEA in 1960 a person ingested 74 MBq of radium (assumed
to be 226Ra) and this person died four years later.[168] Harold McCluskey
survived 11 years (eventually dying from cardiorespiratory failure) after
an intake of at least 37 MBq of 241Am (He was exposed in 1976). It is
estimated that he suffered doses of 18 Gy to his bone mass, 520 Gy to the
bone surface, 8 Gy to the liver and 1.6 Gy to the lungs; it is also
claimed that a post mortem examination revealed no signs of cancer in his
body. The October 1983 issue of the journal Health Physics was dedicated
to McCluskey, and subsequent papers about him appeared in the September
1995 issue.[169]

Suspicious deaths of people involved in Russian politics

See also: List of journalists killed in Russia

Comparisons have been made to the alleged 2004 poisoning of Viktor
Yushchenko, the alleged 2003 poisoning of Yuri Shchekochikhin and the
fatal 1978 poisoning of the journalist Georgi Markov by the Bulgarian
Committee for State Security. The incident with Litvinenko has also
attracted comparisons to the poisoning by radioactive thallium of KGB
defector Nikolay Khokhlov and journalist Shchekochikhin of Novaya Gazeta
(the Novaya Gazeta interview with the former, coincidentally, prepared by
Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was later found shot to death
in her apartment building).[170] Like Litvinenko, Shchekochikhin had
investigated the Russian apartment bombings (he was a member of the
Kovalev Commission that hired Litvinenko's friend Mikhail Trepashkin as a
legal counsel).

Former KGB officer Oleg Gordievsky believes the murders of Zelimkhan
Yandarbiev, Shchekochikhin, and Politkovskaya and the incident with
Litvinenko show that FSB has returned to the practice of political
assassinations,[171] which were conducted in the past by Thirteenth KGB
Department.[172] A comparison was also made with Roman Tsepov[173] who was
responsible for personal protection of Anatoly Sobchak and Putin, and who
died in Russia in 2004 from poisoning by an unknown radioactive
substance.[174] Officers of FSB "special forces" liked to use Litvinenko
photos for the target practice in shooting galleries, according to Russian
journalist Yulia Latynina.[175]

References in popular culture

Channel Four Television Corporation has signed Mentorn productions to make
a television drama based on the Litvinenko poisioning. Peter Kosminsky
will be the director.[176]
Johnny Depp is reportedly planning to make a film based on a forthcoming
book.[177][178][179]
A 2007 episode of "Law & Order Criminal Intent" featured a story that
alluded to the incident and the 60 Minutes CBS News program aired a
segment on "Who Killed Alexander Litvinenko?" on January 7, 2007. A
transcript is available online.[180]


Thriller writers Frederick Forsyth and Andy McNab claimed that the killing
of Alexander Litvinenko is a classic case of fact being stranger than
fiction and that they would be fighting a losing battle if they offered a
Litvinenko-style story to a publisher.[181]

Retrieved from
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Litvinenko_poisoning"

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posted by u2r2h at Tuesday, July 17, 2007

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